Want a cheap DIY media centre to enjoy music and videos for free? Learn how to install Kodi on Raspberry Pi 3 and useful add-ons from this guide!
Raspberry Pi, one of it’s kind and a widely used microcomputer for tons of projects by geeks around the world. It’s speed and ability to adapt is loved by all. On the other hand we have Kodi, the best free open source media streaming software. Can you just imagine what you can do with both of these classics together? Well, the possibilities are just too many and the fun, limitless.
In this guide, I will be showing you how to install Kodi on Raspeberry Pi 3 and enjoy your favourite media content on your shiny flat screens. You can go with a Kodi-box if you are looking for a simpler solution to stream Kodi content but if you own a Raspberry Pi, I am sure you are geeky enough to learn these methods.
Things You Will Need
- A Raspberry Pi 3 (get here)
- An HDMI cable (get here)
- A USB power adapter/source (get here)
- MicroSD memory card (at least 8GB) (get here)
- USB keyboard (get here)
- A Raspberry Pi case (get here)
The above prerequisites will work best with Kodi since the third revision of Raspberry Pi works very fast because of the better hardware. You need to ensure that the power supply is 5V at 2Amp and get a decent (class 10 or higher) 8GB microSD card.
An HDMI cable will help you to process sound from Raspberry Pi to your big screen, a case helps to cool down things so it should have a proper airflow and a mouse/keyboard will act as the input device to control the Pi device.
Alternatively, you can buy a perfect kit with all these requirements. This will save you a lot of time and dollars as well. Grab this CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit (32GB) and get started with the procedure right away.
How to Install Kodi on Raspberry Pi 3
There are 2 operating systems which you can use in order to achieve the aim, namely LibreElec & OSMC. A good way to start things off is by formatting the microSD card and now it’s time to install the OS’s.
1. Install LibreELEC using USB-SD Creator
- Download LibreELEC USB-SD Creator from the given link
- Insert the microSD card into your computer’s SD card reader
- Launch the Creator app by choosing “Run as administrator” option
- Select “Raspberry Pi 2 and 3” as version.
- Click “Download” and then select the folder where you wish to download the image file
- Make sure your SD card slot has been selected properly
- Click “Write” and then
- Select “Yes” to confirm the operation
- After writing is done, press the “Close” button and safely remove the card from the PC
- Insert the card into your Raspberry Pi
- Plug in the power cord to boot up RPi 3
- Once RPi has booted, you will see the LibreELEC wizard. Press “Next”
- If you wish, you can rename your host name. This is how your RPi will be shown to other devices in your home network
- Select your Wi-Fi network. Press “Connect” and enter your Wireless Network Passphrase to connect to the Internet
- Select “Next”
- You can skip sharing and remote access, so just press “Next”
- Now you are ready start configuring Kodi Media Center
2. Install OSMC (Open Source Media Center) Operating System
- Download OSMC installer for your respective operating system from the given link
- Run the OSMC installer and choose “English” language and “Raspberry 2/3” as device you want to install it on
- Click the “Next” button and select the latest OSMC version (or update to the latest one)
- Plug-in the card reader with the microSD card in the USB port of your computer system
- Select the “on an SD card” option when it asks where to install OSMC and click the next arrow
- The next step will be to choose a network connection. Choose “wired connection” if you are using Ethernet or “wireless connection” if you are using a Wi-fi network
- Enter the details of your Wifi connection if needed and click on “Next“
- Select the device path in the next step (connect microSD properly if you can’t see anything) and click on Next
- Read and accept the license agreement and continue to the next screen
- The download (nearly 175MB) will begin and will be completed in a few minutes
- You are almost done! (The microSD card is ready to be plugged into the RPi)
- Insert the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi’s card slot and connect power supply to the Raspberry Pi
- Connect the USB keyboard as well
- Connect the HDMI cable to the TV and switch on the power supply. You should now see the OSMC window and the initialization should be complete in a few seconds.
- After that, choose the basic settings (language, time-zone, device name etc.)
- Next, you can choose whether you prefer using OSMC’s own skin or Kodi’s default skin (Classic) or download a new one
- Exit the configuration menu and you are all set to use Kodi
Kodi & Raspberry Pi 3: Next Steps
Now that you have Kodi installed on your Raspberry Pi device, I presume that you would want to learn how to stream videos and listen to the music by using services like Netflix, Tidal etc. The first step to this is to install the media codecs for Raspberry Pi 3. In order to decode and play MPEG-2 and VC1 video files using hardware acceleration, you will need to purchase codec licenses from the Raspberry Pi foundation. Follow the below steps to do the same:
- First of all go to the official website and purchase MPEG-2 and VC1 codec license keys
- You should receive the license keys in your mailbox within 72 hours
- In OSMC, go to My OSMC > Pi Config > GPU Mem & Codec
- Enter the license key from your email to MPEG2 and/or WVC1 license under the Codec status
- Reboot the system
The performance was quite smooth and the RPi 3’s 1.2 GHz processor worked perfectly with Kodi. You can further also install different Kodi add-ons.
Some occasional shutter might be there while viewing HQ videos but there was no buffering at all. The temperature rise can be controlled using the case. If you are looking for details on how to install addons or optimisation tips for the performance of Kodi on Raspberry Pi, you can read this guide as well.
So that’ all from my guide, comment below if you have any questions. Do share this guide if you think it can help others as well. Visit us for more such quick guides. Cheers!